Did you know that having a strong brand online makes a big difference? Without that professional brand, lots of opportunities will pass you by. For instance, in this day and age, employers are constantly looking for potential new employees online. Similarly, business people use the internet to do research on potential new partners. As a result, if you don’t have an online presence and a strong brand, you will more than likely miss out. There are six simple steps you can follow as part of your brand creation. We will cover the first three in this blog and the last three in another blog.


Step 1 – Prepare Your Online Presence to Include Goals

You must start with defining your professional goals. These simple questions will hope you in this process:

  • What do I want to achieve from my online presence?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • How do I want others to view me?

Some reasons for improving your online brand may be:

  • Find A New Job
  • Start In A New Industry
  • Promote Personal Content
  • Position As A Thought Leader
  • Promote Current Company

Now that you have a goal in mind for your online presence, it is important to define how you would describe yourself. Here is a quick exercise to assist you at this point.

  • List three words that come to mind when you think of your professionality, and your desired professional brand.
  • Think about how you want to help others, and what value you can add to individuals or companies.
  • Write down how your colleagues, friends, and family might describe you.

Your online brand creation should address a need. Whether it is something your expertise can solve or someone who is looking to learn more about you, only post content that will add value.

  • Do you have a specific expertise that benefits others?
  • Have your life experiences given you a unique outlook on how things work?
  • Will a potential employer see the value you can add to their company in your online posts?

linkedinStep 2 – Social Media for Your Professional Brand

Your social media presence makes up a large portion of your professional brand online. Not only will potential employers, partners, and clients use your social profiles to “judge” you, social media is also a great outlet for your content and opinions. For your professional brand, LinkedIn is the most powerful of the networks to build your brand and network to help you reach your goals. That doesn’t mean other social media networks aren’t important. Keep your brand consistent across all online channels and platforms.

On LinkedIn you can establish yourself as an expert or a thought leader if you have a great public

profile, publish quality content, answer posted questions, and give solid business advice in discussion groups. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn allows you to make important business connections that can be critical to the success of your professional brand.

Create a Strong Profile:

  • Include a photo
  • Have an optimized headline
  • Tell your story. Remember everything starts with a story.
  • Optimize your profile for search
  • Create a unique URL
  • Link to the rest of your web presence

Ask for Recommendations – When asking for a recommendation, offer to write one in return, it’s the kind thing to do and will give you a greater chance of obtaining one. Also, ask for specifics. If you don’t ask, people will write vague, non-specific recommendations won’t do you any good.

Include Skills and Endorsements – Endorsements validate your experience, skills, and overall character while highlighting the industry relevant individuals you’re connected with. Include endorsements that are relevant to who you want to be portrayed as.

Establish Your Network – Connecting with the right people online is critical to your professional brand creation success. Your connections open up opportunities for you, such as closing big deals, striking up new partnerships, landing a new job, or meeting new influencers.

Get Involved with Groups – Joining relevant groups will allow you to achieve your networking goals. These groups connect you with the right people who can offer advice and open doors. Unlike professional networking groups that cost money, these groups on LinkedIn offer the same value for free!

16824573Step 3 – Practice Online Action Best Practices

To build your professional brand online, you need to post relevant content, get into discussions, and add value. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Portray the Job/Sales You Want – Describe yourself in a way that promotes your skills and accomplishments that will help you get that job. Your professional brand should be crystal clear and the job you want should be obvious to recruiters and anyone else looking at your online profile.
  • Focus on Thought Leadership – Here are some steps to get you started on this path:
– Sign up for Google Alerts
– Stay up to date on news in your industry
– Follow industry blogs and forums (Check out alltop.com if you need a place to get started)
– Read opinion columns and try to come up with a counter argument – even if you agree with it
– Solicit advice from different industries about your own industry to hear all perspectives
– Frequently write content and share online for all to read!
  • Show the real you – People want to know who they are interacting with. This makes them feel more connected with your professional brand and you. When this professional connection through social media occurs, your followers will engage with you more often.
  • Stand Out with Your Content – If you want your professional brand to stand out, use media rich content (videos, blogs, pictures, etc.) that allow for you to vibrantly tell your story. (There is that storytelling again).
  • Create and Keep Your Own Tone – Keep your own professional tone and voice when commenting in discussions. Try recording yourself speaking, transcribe it, and see what happens. Your tone and voice may be easier to create than you think!
  • Make Your Audience Feel Valued – To make your followers feel value randomly highlight and compliment them on social media.


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